Fresh off an historic Cox Plate victory on New Zealand four year old Ocean Park, Glen Boss is giving himself a good chance of winning Saturday’s feature, the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Hvasstan.
Boss has been aboard the Peter Galagotis trained three year old at his last three outings including his last start win beating Honorious in the Group 3 $150,000 Starlight Children’s Foundation Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 20.
And with the defeat of the Derby favourite, It’s A Dundeel in the Group 2 $220,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday, Boss is giving his colt a top chance to secure another Derby win for the top jockey after winning in 2000 with Hit The Roof.
“With It’s A Dundeel getting beaten in the Vase, it has thrown the Derby wide open. Hvasstan is all business, he just keeps turning up and doing his job. He will run very well in the Derby,” Boss said.
“He’s a magnificent Fastnet Rock colt and he’s been learning his trade in the last month very quickly. I’m really excited about riding this horse.”
Boss is looking to keep his magnificent Spring rolling along and a win in the Derby would cap off a memorable week after riding his third Cox Plate winner on Ocean Park last Saturday.
It’s A Dundeel remains the favourite for the Derby even though the Murray Baker trained three year old was beaten at odds on by Super Cool in the Vase with the long Flemington straight more to his liking.
The High Chaparral colt was left flat footed at Moonee Valley and was unable to run down Super Cool and jockey James McDonald is looking forward to the wide open spaces of Flemington.
“I’m sure he’s going to improve on the bigger track,” McDonald said.
It’s A Dundeel was undefeated prior to coming to Moonee Valley and is certain to appreciate the long Flemington straight after showing his class with a gutsy win two starts back in the Group 1 $400,000 Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6.
Sydney trainer David Payne still thinks It’s A Dundeel is the horse to beat in the Derby but is giving his three year old Honorious a good chance of turning the tables.
“I don’t think It’s A Dundeel lost much from a Derby point of view,” Payne said.
“I don’t think the Moonee Valley track suited him.
“I’m sure he will be much better on the bigger track at Flemington but I also think it will suit my horse as well.”
Honorious was placed twice behind the Kiwi colt with a second in the Group 3 $200,000 Co-Wyn Building Group Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Randwick on September 22 and third in the Spring Champion Stakes.
And Honorius continued his good form in Melbourne and gained second place on protest in the Norman Robinson Stakes.
It’s A Dundeel remains the top pick in the Derby at $2.80 with the Peter Snowden trained Soleman at $6 just in front of Hvasstan at $6.50 and Super Cool at $7. Honorious is also in the market at $8.